didn't know he was in a flick either. >> what do you think about this? >> bill: that's it for us tonight. glad you made it through the hour, few people could. thanks for watchinging this special edition of the factor. i'm bill o'reilly remember the spin stop right here, because we are looking out for you. >> sean: truth the 20th century re s from germany to russia rose to threaten the free world. in large part7:+ efforts of two nations the united states and the united kingdom that ensured they wound up in the words of ronald reagan on the ash heap of history. franklin roosevelt and churchill defeated hitler's germany from north africa to normandy. thatcher and reagan starred down the communist threat from the halls of of geneva to the
beaches of grenada. then it was george w. bush and british prime minister blair. they formed a relationship that shocked their closist advisers. we spoke with both. some of the people who knew them best about that relationship and how it shaped the war on terror. >> thank you. >> i admire courage in people. tony blair is a courageous person. god bless america! >> sean: in the aftermath of the september 11th, attacks george bush and tony blair faced a new world. radical islam threatened freedom and they vowed to take the fight to the enemy. >> up until that point bill clinton had lobbed a few cruise missiles into
afghanistan. this was a proper existential struggle this was something that bush and blair knew beforehand but 9/11 gave them the power they needed to do something about it. >> sean: over the course of eight years bush and blair fought to beat back the islamist threat and plant democracy in its place. >> what i saw when i became chief of staff in early 2006 i thought was one of the most extraordinary rips i saw within the closed doors of the -- relationships i saw within the closed doors of the oval office. >> sean: when george w. bush was elected president, many wondered how he would get along with the british prime minister or whether they would get along at all. >> prime minister blair had a very special relationship and strong relationship with president clinton. the question was, how he was going to perceive this new president, president george w. bush and whether
that close relationship with president clinton would be a barrier in some way to forming a close relationship between president bush and prime minister blair? >> tony blair is labor. george bush is conservative. they have reasons not to get along, at least on paper and politically-speaking. >> sean: when news reached britain that george bush feeted al gore in the presidential election. tony blair placed his first call to the president-elect. >> at that time president clinton was staying with prime minister blair. it was a farewell visit. as president clinton took off, we put the first call through to president bush. he explained to president bush on the phone that he had been a good friend to president clinton and he planned to remain a friend. president bush said he respected that and expected nothing less. >> sean: bush and blair met for the first time in february of 2001. >> welcome, it is my honor to welcome the prime minister.
from our strongest friend and closest ally to camp david. laura and i invited he and sherry over. i wind sure what to expect. because his reputation was left of center politician, very close to bill clinton. >> slightly nervous get to know you type of meeting. we flew in by marine one into camp david. they hadn't met before. i guess there was a slight apprehension. like a first date if you like. >> sean: that apprehension did not last long. >> i think most of all we have the same perception of the world. and the belief in freedom. the belief in standing up for what is right and just. and everything that i've heard today confirms in my view dwéw(u relationship will carry on in the years to come. >> as they told me he's a charming guy. he put the charm offensive on me. and it worked.
>> i felt we hit it off immediately. he's an easy guy to be around. our conversations were wide ranging. i learned a lot from him. he turned out to be a steady, good friend. >> what the prime minister found was someone who was very smart politically. he had nice jokes president bush would always make fun of himself which is endearing. >> they hit it off, the same age, same international points of view. they just enjoyed each other's company. >> very much a family vent at camp dave. we all to -- event at camp david. we all went to watch a film and candy rice had to be woken up at the end of the movie. >> they got along from the beginning. i think because they genuinely liked each other. also, they each knew how important the relationship between the united states and the u.k. is and would continue to be under george w. bush's administration.
>> sean: at camp david bush and blair found agreement on an issue through would come to define their partnership. the threat posed by iraqi dictator saddam hussein. >> he's got to understand that we're gonna watch him carefully. if we catch him developing weapons of mass destruction we will take the appropriate action. >> we know given the chance he will develop these weapons. >> we are determined to make that part of the world more peaceful by keeping this guy in check. >> i recall tony blair saying the only place in the world where u.s. and british warplanes were being shot at almost daily was in iraq. >> from the start both of them had a view of saddam hussein as saddam hussein was indeed a real threat to this world. >> we joined with president clinton in bombing iraq after they threw the inspectors out. dealing with iraq had been from the first movement tony
blair came into government. the threat had been there and we had to deal with it by airstrikes. >> sean: more importantly, the meeting fostered trust between the two leaders which would become critical as america came under attack. >> even though they had different views along the political spectrum, each sensed aiken dread spirit. >> problem is -- sensed a kindred spirit. >> what tony blair found in president bush if he gave you his word, he would definitely deliver. >> he's a man of his word. i admire that in tony blair. >> sean: coming up, america under attack. >> tonight we are a yeah wakened to danger and called to defend freedom. >> sean: president bush and prime minister blair face the islamist threat head-on and grapple with how to keep their nations safe. wi the capital one venture card
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today our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts. >> it was a rather slow day here in britain. i was in number 10. the prime minister left to make a speech. >> the victim were in airplanes or in their offices. secretaries, businessmen and women, military and federal workers, moms and dads, friends and neighbors. >> one of my assistants came in and said another plane has flown into another tower. i couldn't believe it. i said it must be the film shown answer. he -- shown again. he said no there's been another one. >> thousands of lives were ended by evil. >> first call from tony blair in brighton saying i think i should cancel my speech. i can't stay here with this having happened. i have to come up to london. >> sean: in briton blair
delivered remark as dressing the attacks that had taken place in america. >> i'm afraid we can only imagine the terror and the carnage there. and the many, many innocent people that will have lost their lives. i know that you would want to join with me in sending deepest condolences to president bush and to the american people on behalf of the british people, of these terrible events. >> sean: blair's support was immediate and unwavering. >> during the day it was one nation and one people above all stood side by side with us at that time. that nation was america. and those people were the american people. i say to you we stand side by side with you now, without hess take. >> while some were giving condolences, tony blair was saying our country will stand with you.
you can rely upon us to be a strong ally. he understood in the early hours of post 9/11 this was different. >> somebody must keep their word. >> sean: on domestic politics the president and the prime minister came from different camps. the september 11th, attacks triggered the same reaction in both, islamist terror was the preeminent threat to the free world and their countries would have to take the offensive against it. >> mr. speaker, the president of the united states. >> it's goal is remaking the world and imposing its radical beliefs on people everywhere. >> this master is the new he in our world today. we the democracies of this world are going to have to come together to fight this
together and eradicate this evil completely from our worm. i've seen a lot of this building for sometime. i would take a different view today. i think the roots of this are even deeper than i thought then to most people it was the first major terrorist attack and the worst and most awful and so on. but it wind the only thing. and it didn't come out of nowhere really. therefore, to me, suddenly a lot of things started to make sense. >> it changed tony blair's attitude fundamentally. 9/11 for him was a defining moment. 9/11 galvanized him into realizing this was an important moment in history and needed to be responded to according lip. >> sean: bush and blair worked -- hard formulating a spoken to the attacks. >> on marine one flying back to the white house, september 11th. as we flew over the pentagon the president looked out, marine one banked right to land on the south lawn. the president could see the pentagon smoldering, on fire.
he said to nobody in particular, he just said it out loud. the mightiest building in the world is on fire that's the face of war in the 21st century >> next morning he managed to get president bush on thetel. he had a good conversation. -- on the telephone. he had a good conversation. he then flew over to america and he wanted to pay his respects. he went to a memorial service for victims of the tragedy. >> so honored the british prime minister has crossed an ocean to show his unity with america. thank you for coming, friend. [ applause ] >> i think a reflection of president's personal gratitude that blair was so quickly to come to his side and make it clear the u.k. stood with the united states. >> it was a recognition that president bush is the type of leader who knows that it is important to say thank you. >> sean: before the president delivered his address he spoke to blair at length. >> the two were alone in the
blue room on the second floor. it was about 45 minutes before the speech. prime minister blair was like i can totally appreciate it if you need me to leave so you can prepare for this president bush said, no, i know exactly what i want to say, i don't need to look at my notes any more. >> i said i want to be with my friend. >> tony was amazed when he gives a speech he's practicing, limbering up for it. president bush said no, i practiced earlier. i'm going to give it as soon as i get there he was relaxed in a remarkable way. i was a terrific speech he gave. >> tonight we are a yeah wakened to danger and called to defend freedom. whether we bring our enemies to justice or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done. [ applause ] >> tony blair was proud to be in the gallery listening to that speech and demonstrating
solidarity we all felt in that time of attack. >> america has no truer friend than great britain. [ applause ] >> once again we are joined together in a great cause. >> for president bush the question really was, was tony blair gonna be his winston churchill? it turns out, yes indeed. yes indeed. >> sean: coming up, war in iraq. >> this isn't just america or america and its close ally the u k. this is something on behalf of our way of life. >> sean: how bush and blair decided to take on saddam hussein and topple his dictatorial regime. [ male announcer ] you are a business pro.
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>> on my orders the united states military has begun strikes against al-qaeda terrorist training camps and military installations of the taliban regime in afghanistan. we are joined in this operation by our staunch friend great britain. >> sean: as the american military brass planned the invasion of afghanistan, president bush looked to prime minister blair for his input. >> i appreciate his advice. i appreciate his council. and i appreciate his friendship. >> one of the first things that was done was dropping of food. paratrooping in food to afghans. that was tony blair's idea. that came about on a secure call between george bush and tony blair. blair said at the same time we are going in with the military
let's go in with food aid to send a symbol to the people that we the west are on your side. and president bush loved that idea and that's what they did. >> sean: bush and blair greed fighting the war on terror would require a new strategy. radical regimes could no longer be contained and it would fall to free nations to preempt these regimes before they posed an imminent threat. >> i will not wait on events while danger is gathered. i will not standby as peril draws closer. the united states of america will not permit the world's most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world's most destructive weapons. >> the central idea that we could act on our own, we could have a forward policy on freedom and democracy and fighting terror in its own backyard. these were things that blair had worked out for himself in many ways articulated earlier he was way out of line with almost everybody he knew.
his friends, colleagues, cabinet cal leagues, he was absolutely out on a limb. it was an extraordinary thing to see >> is this threat something that you can manage, treat with, sort of compromise with and evolve out of it? which is one view, not a stupid view, but it is one view. or is it something that is fundamental and has to be confronted and defeated? i took the latter view. >> tony blair could see beyond the horizon. he understood there's an ideological struggle taking place. on it one hand you9 a],ñ havo have tough hard power and soft power as well as he put it. i agreed completely. >> sean: as the two surveyed the global landscape they focused on saddam hussein as the leading threat. the iraqi dictator was a relentless sponsor of terrorism. over a decade saddam defied
the united nations. >> this regime agreed to international inspections, then kicked out the inspectors this is a regime that has something to hide from the civilized world. >> the attention turned from 9/11 increasingly to the issue of how to deal with saddam hussein, it was clear that both leaders viewed him as a threat to peace, because of his clear intention and past history of pursuing nuclear weapons invading his neighbors and oppression of his own people. >> sean: as plan for invasion progressed, bush and blair found themselves in disagreement on a key issue. >> biggest disagreement with was whether we needed a second resolution at the united nations to authorize a use of force. prime minister blair made it clear it was important. he thought it was the right thing and the best way to have as large a coalition as possible. >> sean: tony blair visit george w. bush at camp david to persuade him to seek an additional resolution from
the united nations before launching a military campaign against saddam hussein. >> tony had come and wanted to talk about -- i call coercive dip sphroeupl, strong diplomatic track par -- dip -- if it didn't work there would be a military option. part of that was him talking to me about going to the united nations to seek a security council resolution. >> had a long discussion on iraq and what should be done. particularly the need to build an international coalition. blair felt strongly as with afghanistan after 9/11, you needed to gather the whole world community to try and deal with this. that's why he argued strongly to involve the u.n.. >> president bush understood from prime minister blair early on that in order for him to provide the type of public support for a potential military campaign in iraq the united nations was going to
have to play a significant role. >> those discussions took place in the preceding summer before the invasion. that's when president bush made the decision in september of 2002, to go to the united nations and layout the case against saddam hussein. that decision to do that, was in large part in response to his consultations with prime minister blair. >> interesting thing for the criticisms and in the united kingdom about tony blair following whatever george bush said. the fact of the matter george bush often followed what tony blair said out of respect for blair and a desire to help blair. >> i wanted to have others with us. by the way, john howard said get a resolution. john howard of australia one of our strongest allies am i listened to the other leaders a lot. >> i could see, i was on the other side of the water in
u.k. and european politics unless we involved the u.n. we were likely to be on our own. i felt, to get us in the end with some 30 countries in the coalition that was important in order to say to people this isn't just america or america and its close ally the u k, this is something on behalf of our way of life and not just our two countries. >> i remember after one of their meetings, his message was we are going to try to do this diplomatically if i have to use military force, i will. will you be with me? when the president came out and said with obvious relief, blair and you are going to try to do this diplomatically, but we agreed if we have to use force, he will stand with america. >> sean: coming up, the cost of war. >> we will be with you in this fight for liberty. >> sean: the british public erupts in protest and tony blair almost loses his government. as the war effort faulters
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is a powerful force. set it in motion... and it goes out into the world like fuel for the economy. one opportunity leading to another... and another. we all have a hand in it. because opportunity can start anywhere, and go everywhere. let's keep it moving. ♪ . >> my fellow citizens, at this hour, american and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm iraq, to free its people and send -- and deficient the world from grave
danger. >> we will be with you in this fight for liberty. and if our spirit is right and our courage firm, the world will be with us. >> sean: tony blair's decision to support iraq war was not popular in great britain. his approval ratings plummeted, many feared he would lose his government. >> order! >> it was quite possible that he would be thrown out of government at that moment. if he had not been able to get the vote through the house of commons on the war which he spoke eloquently about. he would be out of government. >> vote with the government tonight! >> i called and said why don't you not join the coalition and keep your government. he said i'm going to do the right thing if it costs me my government i'm going to do the right thing. >> he reaffirmed his personal and his country's support he gave what i think will go down as one of the great speeches
in modern history in front of his parliament. >> the prime minister looking back over these 12 years, the truth is, we've been victims of our own desire, to persuade towards reason the unreasonable to hope with genuine intend to do good in a regime whose mind is evil. >> the place was silent they all listened. he changed a number of minds by the way he delivered it. >> this is a situation where prime minister blair in his heart of hearts believed what was saying and doing. >> only persuasive power to which he responds to 250,000 allied troops on his doorstep. >> tony blair is a tough sort of guy. he's used to political pressure. he was criticized when he first came to power as always following trends and wishes. by the time he left they called him stalin because he went on his own terms not
following public opinion. he was determined to do what he thought was right >> sean: as the war unfolded bush and blair discussed the military campaign regularly. >> the president would have every couple weeks a secure video conference where the prime minister would come on a big television screen in the situation room. the president with his advisers and the prime minister with his, would talk about afghanistan. talk about iraq. they developed over this period of time a common set of views about what needed to be done and how to do it. >> he and the president might have a 45 or an hour long conversation on the video screen. tony blair often would follow-up with a memorandum underscoring points they made, raising some he thought of afterwards, suggesting a way forward. president bush would often respond. >> president bush felt he could bounce ideas off of tony and tone felt he could give ideas. it was a very fluid
relationship, intimate one. one that was as close as relationships have been between presidents and prime ministers. >> sean: summer of 2006 it was clear to both leaders that progress in iraq had stalled. >> the optimism that we had felt early in 2006 was rapidly evaporating, as the war as clearly going very badly. >> the situation in iraq is unacceptable to the american people. it is unacceptable to me. >> a lot of people believed maybe that was a foregone conclusion he was going to surge troops. it wind the case. >> president bush as he was getting feedback as to what his options might be, began to share with prime minister blair what his thinking was. >> the new strategy i out line tonight will change america's course in iraq and help us succeed in the fight against terror. >> a large portion of the president's advisers and the u.s. military opposed a surge.
the president felt that the risks of basically losing this conflict were too large. he had a kindred spirit there in tony blair. >> we had a long series of discussions with the commanders and with president bush. he was involved in that discussion of how you should go about the surge and holding territory. >> sean: as a result of the surge, the new iraqi democracy is on a firm footing. bush and blair weathered fierce criticism for their actions. now history will be the judge. >> president took a very long view of history. he believed in the long term, it would be clear that the removal of saddam hussein, the stabilization of iraq, was a potentially transformative event in the history of the middle east. >> it is a point to always remember as a result of what
george bush did, tony blair did and what the iraqis are still doing, the first arab democracy has been born. >> nobody else on the planet was in the position that these two men were. they ultimately were responsible for being the front end of the war on terror. >> sean: today both leaders stand by their decisions and by each other. >> i saw him close up. this is something who is genuinely motivated by a love of his country and doing what he thought was right. so, if you are opposed to him, do disagree with him, when you come to consider him, consider the complete man. >> we both came to the same conclusions. therefore, we were soulmates when it came to the freedom agenda. >> sean: coming up, the roots of special relationship. >> we are going to win this war. and we are going to win the peace that follows.
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. >> sean: george bush and tony blair built on a long standing relationship between the united states and great britain. one that winston churchill famously call the special relationship. >> this u.s.-british alliance is very powerful. there's a kind of unspoken rule that we stay on each other's side. don't ever go it alone. >> sean: the anglo-american relationship was formed in world war ii when roosevelt and churchill came together to beat back nazi germany and imperial japan. they were unlikely partners. >> churchill was a conservative, the last politician standing up to the
nazi menace. he desperately needed roosevelt who was a democratic progressive from the opposite end of a philosophical political spectrum. they were different people. churchill was a warm hearted man who loved to talk, loved to tell jokes. roosevelt was a secretive man who didn't let his right hand know what his left hand was doing. >> they had differences but they thought their belief in the democratic principles of world governance guided them through any kind of turbulence. >> sean: george w. bush and tony blair, their political differences were also bridged by a shared international vision. >> churchill, conservative. fdr progressive. it gets flipped with blair and bush. bush was the conservative and blair was the labor, progressive. >> they did have common set of values and a common belief in
the importance of spreading freedom in the world. and that freedom and democracy really were the antidote to the grim vision of the world that the terrorists were offering. >> sean: both bush and roosevelt were thrust into wars that began with attacks on american soil. >> battleship arizona just after the explosion that shattered the mighty giant. a date which will live in infamy. the united states of america was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval forces of the empire of japan. >> americans have known surprise taxes, but never before on thousands of civilians. all of this was brought upon us in a single day. and night fell on a different world. a world where freedom itself is under attack. >> he had to confront a pearl
harbor of his own with 9/11. in both cases immediately america was thrust into a war. >> he recognized america -- [ inaudible ] sneak attacks like pearl harbor. the difference is now, it's asymmetrical war. >> fdr knew who the menace was the japanese and nazi germany. for president bush when you have terrorism, it was un where the united states with the help of great britain was going to strike back. as soon as we were bombed president bush became a wartime president at that moment. >> sean: four days after the japanese attack on pearl harbor, hitler declared war on america. in the years that followed roosevelt's collaboration with churchill would become view that to the allied victory. >> the key, crucial moments of the second world war they were helped enormously by a close
personal as well as political bone between chill and roosevelt. >> neither one gets it right, together they make almost all the right decisions at the right times. >> sean: british and americans have not just gone to war they've worked to shape the post-war world. >> with germany nearing defeat urgent problems must be settled by the united states, great britain and russia. >> sean: at the conference in 1945 they looked beyond the war and attempted to mold the new europe. >> envisioning in a serious way what the post with with two world was going to look like. -- what the post world war ii world was going to look like. >> sean: bush and blair looked to a counter insurge strategy to protect the american people and lay a new democracy. >> with bush it wasn't so much redirecting the world's map. trying to make a decision of how does one grab stateless
treufrpl by the just of the neck? -- terrorism, by the scruff of the neck. >> you have to get the public on your saoeufpd the only way to get the public on your side is to protect them. >> sean: from world war ii to the present the special relationship has been cemented by a shared belief that free nations bear the responsibility for tproeblging -- for and defending democracy around the globe. >> we tried again and again to prevent this war. now we are at war. and we are going to make war. and persevere in making war until the other side has had enough of it. >> you and i will act together to protect, to defend our freedom. >> basically they created principles that we still live by today. what does democracy mean?
freedom religion we won't accepto tall -- >> the prime minister was always of the view we needed to be ready to defend ourselves in a forward manner. couldn't sit at home and hope you would be safe. you had to go out and defend your service where the threat was. >> you find that also with george w. bush in this belief that you have to have muscular democracy. you can't allow a world where tyrants rule. >> sean: coming up ronald reagan and margaret thatcher confront the communist threat. >> standing before the brandenburg gate, every man is a german separated from his fellow men. >> sean: how their leadership brought down the berlin wall. [scraping] [piano keys banging] [scraping] [horns honking]
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. [ applause ] >> simple-minded appeasement or wishful thinking about our adversaries is folly. it means the betrayal of our past, squandering of our freedom. >> we are rolling back socialism and returning power to the people. >> the left argues their war came to an end. it didn't. it was a victorious outcome as a result of the steady pressure, placed on the ussr by ronald reagan and margaret thatcher. >> sean: out of the ashes of world war ii, new evil arose. aggressive expansionist soviet union. battling the communist threat ronald reagan and thatcher developed the relationship characterized by the same warmth and admiration as the
one between bush and blair. >> reagan was, from her point of view, the pro toe typical american. relaxed, -- broad showed dered, handsome. they clicked at an element mental level. beyond that what they quickly discovered was here we had two people who had never met before who had come up in different backgrounds and reached the same conclusions about what was wrong with the world and what needed to be done. >> ronald reagan and margaret thatcher that it in similar ways and shared the common view that the soviet union would have to change. >> sean: like president bush bush reagan found having a trusted allies across the atlantic bolstered his position around the world. >> he said you have to stand up and rebuild our offensive. across the atlantic here's this tremendously impressive, articulate woman who says the
same thing. >> both sides of the atlantic you had two visionary leaders, who decided the future of the free world depended upon the united states and the united kingdom. >> sean: bush and reagan made some of the most difficult decisions against opposition of closest advisers. >> all of reagan's advisers said don't give the tear down the wall speech. ran guy did it. you see where george w. bush his big moment like that is with the surge. met with the diplomats on the ground full of ideas about what the president shouldn't say. didn't want president ray to be a commie basher. >> standing before the brandenburg gate, every man is a german, separated from his fellow men. >> [ inaudible ]
if the weather conditions are right, they could hear it in moscow by radio. is there anything special you want to say to the people on the other side of the wall? the president said i could still this almost in slow-motion. no, there's that passage about tearing down the wall that's what i want to say to them. that wall has to come down. >> general secretary gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the soviet union and eastern europe, if you seek liberallization, come here to this gate, mr. gorbachev, open this gate. mr. gorbachev, tear down this wall! [ cheering ] >> reagan's speech the surge was seen as being overlay aggressive. a thin read to be basing foreign policy on. >> sean: leaders of the free world have stood up not only
to their advisers, also to each other. >> thatcher was blunt that's why she got the term the iron lady. >> i would like to get on if i may. >> she didn't always get along with reagan on all points. >> i argued with her, back and forth, she liked that. >> one of the major clashes thatcher had with reagan was over the invasion of green nada. >> it was a friendly island paradise for tourism, it wasn't. it was a soviet cuban colony readied as a major military bastion to export terror and undermine democracy. we there just in time. >> the problem for thatcher was that grenada was a commonwealth country. >> she was in part annoyed because she wasn't consulted. it was part of the british commonwealth. >> you had with blair and bush strains. you don't want to pain the
picture it was all rosie. they seemed to understand that history was often about determination that you couldn't cowher in front of a foe. >> -- cower in front of a foe. >> our differences are just enough that it makes each of us better. >> sean: perhaps no one put it better than thatcher herself. >> the great alliance has been the greatest the free worm has ever known in defense of freedom. >> back to world war i, world war ii and now and the world should be grateful that they worked so closely together. >> sean: bush and blair carried the tradition formed by their predecessors into the 21st century. it will fall to their successors to sustain the special relationship based on common values, shared language and enduring belief that freedom will triumph over tyranny. >> they could trust each other. they built personal bonds early on.